dear friends, i found a book this week, and it's been weighing on my heart. 'knitwits' was in the children's section of our local second hand store. on the cover is a picture of a young boy. he's sitting on a toilet, holding a pair of knitting needles with a work in progress and a skein of yarn at his feet. on his face is a look i interpreted as embarrassment and surprise. next to his head are the words 'charlie has a really BIG secret'.
intrigued, i turned the book over to read the back:
" Knit a sweater? No sweat!"
"Charlie Kenny's mother is having a baby. And instead of getting the kid a normal present, like a teddy bear or a rattle, Charlie gets himself into a bet. To knit something for the baby.
Sure, Charlie couldn't resist trying to win Alices' collection of skulls (including one from a goat). But he can't knit! And what if the guys on his hockey team find out?
It looks like Charlie has two choices: Break the bet...or find a very good place to hide."
this makes me sad. but hardly surprised. i am not a preadolescent boy, but i have done my share of hiding knitting through my life. it's a complicated subject, and one i still don't understand, why it's this way. back in 1974 elizabeth zimmerman wrote that knitting is almost an orphan among accepted crafts. have things changed enough in the last forty years? would she be happy with the way things are now? although this book was written in 1992, now twenty years later, i am not sure. (i haven't read the book yet, maybe it'll have a different story than what i'm imagining).
sometimes, i still feel it. apologetic. or even, dare i say, embarrassed, to knit in public (i should say this in response to perhaps making someone else feel uncomfortable). i've knit my way around the world (taking these feelings and wool, with me) and i've had various reactions to it, from delight, to disdain. the thing is, i'm not sure it's changed that much. i'm wondering what your feelings are? am i making too much of this book? do you sometimes feel uneasy while knitting outside your home, or feel you make others uncomfortable by doing so? and non-knitters, your feelings too? i know i'm biased, i think it's a beautiful craft, one of the arts. i've lately wished there were such a thing as yarn along town.
i think i would like to live there.